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Latest Plant Stories

d018f954eca42d969e1899c7c522496c1
2011-01-21 11:46:44

A team of biologists has discovered an entirely new group of algae living in a wide variety of marine and freshwater environments. This group of algae, which the researchers dubbed "rappemonads," have DNA that is distinctly different from that of other known algae. In fact, humans and mushrooms are more closely related to each other than rappemonads are to some other common algae (such as green algae). Based on their DNA analysis, the researchers believe that they have discovered not just a...

c7b2aa6f32424a5d1ab74cf38dd2f51d1
2010-12-13 11:41:16

The researchers decided to embark on this study in order to find out which mechanisms are used by plants when they extract water from very dry or somewhat inhospitable land. "In the case of mangrove swamps, for example, the plants are able to extract freshwater from a saltwater environment, despite the fact that the osmotic pressure should make quite the opposite happen", explains Professor Jos© Luis P©rez Díaz, who studies this type of relatively unknown...

2010-11-03 13:47:36

A new breakthrough by scientists at the University of Sheffield has shed light on how the Earth's first plants began to colonise the land over 470 million years ago by forming a partnership with soil fungi. The research, which was published today (2 November 2010) in Nature Communications, has provided essential missing evidence showing that an ancient plant group worked together with soil-dwelling fungi to 'green' the Earth in the early Palaeozoic era, nearly half a billion years ago. The...

2010-10-01 14:02:48

High in an alpine meadow, Gesine Pufal, from the University of Wellington, New Zealand, crouched low to the ground and splashed some water from her water bottle on a low green plant cushion, then sat back waiting to see if something would move. Sound crazy? Many hikers passing by her may have thought so, but Pufal was trying to find potential plant species that possess a type of plant movement called hygrochasy. Although the ability to move is typically thought to be a characteristic unique...

541132aea6ca9a564a3d61d59f5d01291
2010-09-28 14:32:35

TAU measures the effect of dew on desert plants When the scientific and spiritual worlds collide, they do so in the most surprising ways. Classical meteorological and plant science has, in the last century, insisted that dew negatively affects plant life, leading to rot and fungus. But in the Judeo-Christian tradition, dew is most welcomed as an important source of vegetative and plant life, celebrated in poetry and prayer. Now Prof. Pinhas Alpert of Tel Aviv University's Department of...

1d4298f764f420afbebd9f62f9ef850f1
2010-09-15 10:06:14

A modest moss gives insight into global carbon cycling The diversity of life that can be seen in environments ranging from the rainforests of the Amazon to the spring blooms of the Mohave Desert is awe-inspiring. But this diversity would not be possible if the ancestors of modern plants had just stayed in the water with their green algal cousins. Moving onto dry land required major lifestyle changes to adapt to this new "hostile" environment, and in turn helped change global climate and...

2010-08-04 13:46:57

Charles Darwin described the Venus Flytrap as 'one of the most wonderful plants in the world.' It's also one of the fastest as many an unfortunate insect taking a stroll across a leaf has discovered. But what powers this speed? Dr Andrej Pavlovič of Comenius University, Slovakia, has been studying the plants with the help of some specialised equipment and a few unlucky insects. In the wild the Venus Flytrap grows in the bogs and savannahs of North and South...

2010-06-25 15:14:03

A University of Alberta research team has discovered that a plant's strategy to capture nutrients in the soil is the result of integration of different types of information. U of A ecologist J.C. Cahill says the plant's strategy mirrors the daily risk-versus-reward dilemmas that animals experience in their quest for food. Biologists established long ago that an animal uses information about both the location of a food supply and potential competitors to determine an optimal foraging strategy....

521514de9758aabdb77b139104c862411
2010-06-16 14:26:24

The world is a cooler, wetter place because of flowering plants, according to new climate simulation results published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. The effect is especially pronounced in the Amazon basin, where replacing flowering plants with non"“flowering varieties would result in an 80 percent decrease in the area covered by ever"“wet rainforest. The simulations demonstrate the importance of flowering"“plant physiology to climate regulation in...

2010-06-09 21:25:08

Money may not grow on trees, but gasoline, computers, and tennis shoes just might thanks to new biotech advances that could allow manufacturers to produce fuel, plastics, and other chemicals from plants instead of petroleum. That's the topic of an article in the current issue of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), ACS' weekly newsmagazine. C&EN Senior Business Editor Melody Voith notes that today's plant-based fuels and plastics involve growing crops and then using physical and...


Latest Plant Reference Libraries

Dawsonia
2013-11-04 10:01:23

Dawsonia is a classification of mosses. This genus is a member of the Polytrichaceae family. Dawsonia plants are commonly known to grow taller and have thicker leaves than other common mosses. Mosses are known to grow when hydrated, however most common mosses lack cuticles and internal transport tissues. This makes it difficult for them to maintain substantial amounts of water and they typically do not grow tall. Dawsonia are an exception to this common rule. Dawsonia mosses are...

Petrified Forest National Park
2013-04-24 16:53:26

Petrified Forest National Park is located in the state of Arizona in the United States. The park holds 221,552 acres of land, of which 50,260 acres are comprised of a designated wilderness. The area was once inhabited by Native American tribes including the basket maker and pueblo peoples. The first American explorers to enter the area arrived while searching for good routes leading from east to west. This group, led by Army Lieutenant Amiel Whipple, surveyed the northern area of the...

45_0d6f53866162cdab6d2a37a3a3101ea9
2008-06-15 19:31:02

The Whisk Fern (Psilotum nudum), is a genus of fern-like vascular plants, one of two genera in the family Psilotaceae, order Psilotales, and class Psilotopsida (the other being Tmesipteris). The distribution of Psilotum is tropical and subtropical, in the New World, Asia, and the Pacific. The highest latitudes known are in South Carolina and southern Japan for P. nudum. In the U.S., one species is found from Florida to Texas, the other in Hawaii. They had traditionally been thought not to...

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Word of the Day
cenobite
  • One of a religious order living in a convent or in community; a monk: opposed to anchoret or hermit (one who lives in solitude).
  • A social bee.
This word comes from the Latin 'coenobium,' convent, which comes from the Greek 'koinobios,' living in community.
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